In India, like in other parts of the world, women’s bodies are routinely shamed and hyper-sexualised in the same breath, prompting strict policing of clothing and behaviour. It’s almost as though everything about a woman’s body must be kept under wraps. Except, of course, when it comes to raunchy and demeaning item songs.

Besides, this isn’t the first time the Indian censor board has displayed prudery. Its current chairperson, Pahlaj Nihalani, had earlier said that his mission is to “clean up Indian cinema.” The result has been a series of arbitrary cuts in movies.

In June, for instance, the board came under fire for claiming that the movie Udta Punjab defamed the northern state of Punjab by talking about its drug problem. The director, Anurag Kashyap, was asked to remove all references to the state from the film and include a note acknowledging the government’s efforts to solve the problem. The film was eventually given an “A” (adult) certification after 13 scenes were cut from it.

Being offended by a bra is its latest attempt to enforce its bizarre, and often archaic, ideas on modern Indian cinema.

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